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Friday headlines PM

Apr 15, 2011 4:15 pm
Closing bridge means faster, cheaper repairs
Diane Valden writes in the Columbia Paper that Center Hill Road (County Route 7A) will be detoured because of the impending closing of the Roeliff Jansen Kill at Brown's Dam for replacement. "The long-awaited, much-discussed highway project to replace of the crumbling, 76-year-old bridge and resurface Center Hill Road for six miles from Church Street to County Route 7 and on to State Route 23 in Craryville has started with the posting of road work signs throughout the corridor,the setting up of a storage yard for equipment and vehicles, an engineer's field office behind the Copake Pharmacy and the removal of several trees along the project route, most of them in the vicinity of the dam," Valden writes. Road closures will start in the coming week. The replacement of the span will not begin until the first or second week of May. The original project goal was to keep one travel lane over the bridge open with an alternating traffic flow during the bridge construction, but the condition of the bridge has deteriorated over the last few months to the extent that the structural integrity of the downstream lane was brought into question.

Insurance last hurdle for market
Doron Tyler Antrim reports in the Daily Mail about organizers of the peripatetic Catskill Regional Farmers and Artisans Market now shopping for quotes on insurance, following the village board’s April 11 decision to relocate the market to the county parking lot along Church Street. The market must be added to the county’s insurance policy to operate on its property, although Village President Vincent Seeley has said the market, which is run independently of the village and does not receive any village money, has enough surplus funds to pay for any policy updates.

Under new (and much better) management
Sam Pratt writes on his blog that the former Diamond Street Diner, located on Warren Street in Hudson, was acquired at auction on April 15 by a pair of Columbia County organic farmers. "The new Ghent owners—who supplied the only meat served at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding—plan to add a local 'farm-to-chef' angle to the usual diner fare," Pratt writes. "No timetable for reopening has been set yet; but the diner has always been an important part of the community’s life, making this excellent news for Hudson business and stomachs."

Spectrawatt on last amp
While Capital Region publications are touting the surge of federal and private dollars coming into the Albany area for solar power development and manufacturing projects of late, Kathy Kahn of HVBiz writes about the demise of the company "that was going to take the Hudson Valley by solar storm in May 2010." SpectraWatt, a photovoltaic panel manufacturer that set up shop in IBM’s former East Fishkill facility after making a $90 million private investment in the plant and receiving another $8 million in federal funding. is now in the process of laying off its 150 employees before it officially closes its doors in a few weeks. "SpectraWatt and other local solar companies had shipped much of their production to countries that were encouraging solar power using government subsidies, notably in the European Union," Kahn writes. "But harsh winter weather and an uncertain economic climate have reportedly led some countries to curtail or end their subsidized solar energy programs."

All of city’s Front Street to be repaved next week
Jamie Larson reports in the Register-Star that the entire length of Front Street will be completely re-paved starting April 20, and hopefully finishing by April 22. The work will run from Dock Street on the north to the far end of the Amtrak parking lot where the city has a waste water pump station. During the process, Larson writes, Front Street will be reduced to one lane, with periodic brief traffic stops in both directions as equipment is moved.